First of all, I apologize. We have not had internet access, but I just found some. Cell phones also not working like we expected. We are in Antigua. Everything worked fine in Guatemala City when we landed but as soon as we got to Antigua, everything got spotty. We will be back in Guatemala city Wednesday afternoon.
I am going to give you the highlights, because only a book would fill you in completely. This morning we left for one of the Compassion projects in Guatemala. When we got there, the kids welcomed us like royalty. They sang and danced and threw confetti on us. After that they did a short presentation of some of the things they have been working on for our visit. Then we broke up into groups to do different things. Robey, Danny, and I were in charge of recreation (go figure) and got to play basketball with the best 10 year old basketball players in the world. They schooled us, but it was an amazing time. By the way, they were also girls - quite humbling. It is so easy to bond over games like that. We ran around, laughed, got rained on, and kept playing. During this time, the other groups were doing a craft project with the other kids and just palying games and hanging with them.
During our game, I got word that our family's compassion daughter was there to meet with me. So, sweaty, wet, and dirty, I got to meet her and her mom. What an amazing thing. I showed her a picture album that Melissa put together and told her about my family. When I told her she could keep the album, her eyes lit up. She gave me several hugs and thanked me many times. After that, I asked how we could help them. Her mom began to explain that she has a problem with alcohol and then just broke down and asked if our family would pray for her so that she can overcome this problem and be a good mom for Erika and her 5 year old brother. We prayed with her and then Erika showed me around the school, holding my hand the whole way. We were leaving for lunch and she asked the translator a question and the translator said yes and she came over a gave me a big hug.
We had a great lunch at a local restaurant then headed back to the project. Erika was still there and I got a chance to meet her little brother and give her a stuffed animal we had gotten for her. We said our goodbyes, but only for a few days as she will be coming to meet me at the amusement park on Thursday when the other sponsors get to meet their children.
After that, most of our group began the service project - to paint some of the school. While they were doing that Robey and I got to meet with the pastor of the church that compassion works through to sponsor this project. He introduced us to some of his deacons and elders and shared his vision for reaching this community and also for a church they are planting in a neighboring community. We had an amazing time talking with him (thru a translator) and hearing him talk about some of the same struggles that we face doing ministry back home. We got to visit his church and his home. We got to have coffee with his family and spend a lot of time just understanding what he faces doing ministry in Guatemala. We asked how we could help him and his first request was that we continue to help the compassion project because that is where the kids are hearing the gospel. His second request was that we pray for his church daily. It is amazing to think that neither of his requests were about us giving money to his church, which is what we would assume would make everything better. It is funny how your priorities get challenged by those who have less.
After that, we met up with the rest of the group and headed back to the hotel for dinner and debrief. Still have not gotten Rebekah's bag, so please pray for that. I offered her some clothes, but I don't think she is that desperate yet. Please pray that the rest of the trip will go as well as today. It was an amazing day. I will try to post some pics tomorrow.